Observe the child with paper and a crayon or marker, first spontaneously, then after watching an adult.
Give the child markers or crayons and paper on a small table, where the child can be stable and comfortably reach the paper. Let the child mark on the paper independently. The adult then models drawing a straight horizontal stroke, making a “road” or a “ziipp!” sound to interest the child in the movement.
After observing the adult make a straight line, the child imitates this action. Children prefer circular marks. They stabilize the paper with one hand and make marks with the other, moving their whole arm.
Encourage parents to give children a place and time to draw. Children will say their scribbles represent a drawing. Early childhood educators and parents can ask what the child is making and make their own drawing. Draw alongside of the child. Demonstrate how to make a horizontal line for a road, then drive a small car across the road. The child will want to make a road too. This type of imitation will prompt the child to try making different directional strokes.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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